LAW 5980: Ethical Issues in Clinical Care - 2211

Ethical Issues in Clinical Care
Class Term:
Fall Term 2020-2021
Catalog Number:
Class Number:
3 (0 Contact, 0 Field)
Limited Enrollment - Certificate Course
Full Year Course:
Standard Courses

Additional Information

Students must attend an orientation session scheduled prior to the beginning of the seminar. Students must also receive clearance to be in the clinical setting of the University hospitals; this includes a TB test and background check. The clearance process should be initiated no later than March 1. Therefore, students should contact the Director of the MA Program in Bioethics as soon as possible to indicate their interest and learn about the clearance process. The dates for this course are May 13 - June 28, 2019.

Grading Details

The course grade is based on observation time in the clinical setting, quality of participation in the seminar discussion, and quality of written work (case analysis and journal/field notes). Grading is Honors/Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory. All requirements must be completed to receive credit for the course.


This intensive seminar students observe and analyze ethical and health law issues as they arise in two clinical settings: an intensive care unit (ICU) and a medical unit in University hospitals. Students spend ~20 hours/week, allocated across two mornings and one full day per week, observing in the clinical setting. They accompany physicians and other healthcare professionals on clinical rounds, observe family meetings or ethics consultations, and attend one or more ethics committee meetings. Students are expected to complete a self-paced medical terminology text; must attend an orientation session (time and location to be determined); and must participate in the weekly meeting (typically in the late afternoon or early evening) that synthesizes their observational experience. This affords students the opportunity to analyze their experience and the issues they observe, in light of assigned readings. Relatively light reading is assigned for each week. Readings bring social science perspectives to bear on medicine and healthcare and illuminate clinical ethics issues. Students also make a case presentation, write a case analysis, maintain a journal or field notes of the clinical experience, and submit those field notes for review and comment.

Ethical Issues in Clinical Care